Wollondilly army cadets seek new blood to join their ranks

Do you want to challenge yourself and give your time to something greater?

The 237 Australian Army Cadet Unit - Wollondilly could be just what you're looking for.

The unit, based in Thirlmere, currently has about 20 members, but leaders hope to double that number by next year.

Trainee Officer of Cadets Krislyn Conlon said there was a lot to be gained by joining up with the cadets.

"Cadets are a great idea for anyone who wants to get involved in the community, improve their leadership skills, gain some great skills for future employment or endeavours, learn teamwork and team-building exercises and also get a taste of what life is like in the Australian Defence Force," she said.

"Cadets is a community-focussed organisation. We do not focus on combat activities, but rather the great survival skills and leadership qualities that are important to organisations like the ADF."

Ms Conlon said the 237 unit, which is open to kids aged 12 to 17, had many tasks and responsibilities.

On Monday nights during school terms (6pm-9pm), they hold 'parade' nights, where the cadets learn skills such a navigation, field-craft, first aid, drills, army ceremonies, survival skills, communications, technology and map reading.

"At community events we are responsible for volunteer activities such as ticket sales, fundraising, sausage sizzles, rubbish clean-up, crowd control and more," Ms Conlon said.

"On ceremonial occasions such as Anzac Day, 55/53 Mice of Moresby at Martin Place and Vietnam Veteran's Day, our cadets also provide the Catafalque Party to pay tribute to our soldiers both past and present."

Ms Conlon said cadets also take part in an annual camp called AFX, held at a select military site so members can learn all about the military experience with their peers from across the state.

The trainer said it had bee "such a struggle" to attract new members to 237 Unit during the pandemic.

"With Freedom Day looming around the corner and the new year not too far on the horizon, we are hoping that come January we will be able to have some more people join our unit," Ms Conlon said.

"With numbers come more opportunities such as us being able to provide opportunities for adult volunteer staff development, the ability for cadets to undertake promotion courses to increase their skills and the chance to serve as NCOs [non-commissioned officers] in the organisation that will give them great leadership skills.

"If any adults also would like to volunteer in the organisation and assist at the unit to help our cadets grow, we encourage them to sign up on the Australian Army cadet website, or get in contact with our local unit."

Ms Conlon said all enquiries should be forwarded to Captain Andrew Campbell on 0424 590 117.